I have some questions about education. I’m going to be a little specific about myself and my partner for the sake of clarity and perspective. However my question(s) are meant to be general about education, both within the Cardano community and the world at large.
I am writing this because, well, I am impressed by everyone involved here on the forum as well as the people who are making it happen at IOHK, Emurgo, and the CF. And I feel certain that someone within this community has thought about my questions; I’m just not finding any discussion about it. I have watched quite a few of Mr. Hoskinson’s videos and he does bring up education, but so far I’ve only heard him reference the efforts and teams that are involved in education in Africa and South America and I don’t know where else.
When I listen to Charles I understand his vision and the thought he and his team have put into this goal, not just on the technical side but on the community building side. I love the idea that there can be, through technology, a community built that actually seems to solve what the writers of the U.S. constitution and the founders of the United States had in mind and what they foresaw as the ultimate problem the republic would face, namely, who decides about money. It’s very exciting to me.
I graduated high school in 1978 and within two weeks of my graduation went to work for a computer printing company and learned how to operate and then program an IBM 360/40. After I left this job I went to work for a bank running an Amdahl computer processing daily transactions. My partner, who is the same age as myself, married an architect student and got her first computer when they bought the original Macintosh. She has since worked fairly consistently over the decades within the desktop publishing side of things. I have gotten into and out of computer based work over the decades.
For the last 10 years we have been living in a rural county in the southeast USA that has a population of 20-25,000 people. Over the years as we have gotten to know the members of our community we have been fairly surprised by the number of people (both those still working on whatever career path they have as well as those who have retired from fairly high level jobs requiring daily use of computers) who, regardless of their experience seem to have no fundamental understanding over how to operate their own personal computers. Basic stuff like copy and paste, navigating through a program interface, simply understanding what one is seeing on the screen and what is relevant apparently are pretty uncommon skills.
I do not believe this is a generational thing. Whether someone is in their 20s, 30s, 40s or on up in age, not very many people ‘get it’ when it comes to using a personal computing device. They can do what they have to, and accept what they’re doing as ‘good enuff’, not worrying about eloquence or professionalism. If you are like me at all, I’m sure you have also witnessed the slow degradation of the English language, whether it is in advertising or on cointelegraph.com or the New York Times. Not much emphasis is made any more on doing things ‘correctly’.
People understand when they are broke and when they are not broke. The more well off have a broker or a pension, but how would they truly feel about being their own banker?
Even myself, someone who is basically unintimidated by any computer I come across, found getting into crypto by going onto an exchange a little nerve-wracking the first couple of purchases. In the last month or two, I have been speaking to friends about blockchain and the opportunities I see in getting involved in this new world by actually buying some crypto. I have provided video links and links to reading material and offered to speak with them anytime they wanted to. Of about 8 people that I can recall right now, two have made steps to actually buy some. Both of them are older guys, but only one has successfully put together a small portfolio. The technical difficulties were nearly insurmountable simply because neither had modern and/or functioning smart phones/personal computers.
My patience was greatly tested going through this process with them and I am grateful I have learned to be a little less judgmental as I’ve gotten older.
So here is my point to all of this: 1,000,000,000 people.
That is the goal. And I am glad that it is the goal.
However, our zip code here has slightly less than 1200 addresses. I cannot in any way fathom bringing even a modest fraction of the people in my community, let alone 171 (1 out of 7) into this way of thinking let alone actually getting them to buy Bitcoin which at least some of them have heard of, let alone Cardano.
The reason I’ve written all of this was catalyzed by the post Rick McCracken made where he introduced the draft of a new roadmap for the Cardano Foundation. I applaud the work and have followed the comments and discussion in that thread. Earlier today I downloaded Telegram and intend to read through the voluminous discussion going on there about the roadmap. Maybe I’ll even chip in a thought or two if it seems helpful.
My questions (finally) are these: where is education in the roadmap? Shouldn’t that be included? Of the people I personally know right now, I would say less than ten could follow any discussion about buying crypto let alone the intricacies of Cardano and its’ development.
I bring this up because I know what it is like to live in a bubble. Just like stoners like to tell themselves that everyone smokes weed, computer people tend to think everyone knows how to do stuff on their computer.
Neither statement is nearly as true as the people who think so.
I feel it is kind of a big deal to think about this because we are talking about a huge paradigm shift in money and how humans relate to it.
And I don’t know about y’all, but where I’m from, people get funny about money.
The only other cryptocurrency I own besides Cardano is Elrond. The reason I own Elrond is the same reason I own ADA, their CEO looks at the world and sees the same shit me and Charles Hoskinson do. Presumably you all do too. And both of these guys have the money and the drive and the knowledge and the wherewithal to actually build these huge enterprises to change this shitty situation we all find ourselves in.
I love them both because they are putting it all out there for all of us because, what alternative is there? I have never found it to be a satisfying thought to see the state of our world and then simply shrug and say, oh well… I am so grateful they seem to feel the same way.
The thing Benjamin Mincu said that got me was that his goal is also 1 billion people in the Elrond community, and he wants it to be simple enough for his/your/my grandmother.
And I appreciate that. Because from what I can tell in my own community, it’s going to have to be that simple for any of the people I’ve grown close to over these last few years to actually take part, buy the coin, get involved in governance, take responsibility for their own lives and communities.
1 billion people.
One out of every seven people you and I know.
I would like to see the beginnings of that included in the roadmap. I do not mean this to be a criticism of the roadmap as I’ve understood it so far. I applaud everyone’s efforts who have gotten involved. The issues being discussed are critical for the successful decentralization of the Cardano blockchain.
But in the months that I have been studying all of these things, I am not seeing this fundamental issue of the common ignorance of the vast majority of our so-called ‘First World’ country being addressed.
And to achieve the goal, at some point it seems to me that it will need to be addressed.
I may have typed for the last hour because I myself have been too ignorant to actually find the link that would answer my questions. If so, I would appreciate anybody answering me with that link that addresses my concern. If there is not one, I would appreciate any discussion with others who have also found it difficult to share, simply because people don’t understand what you are talking about.
If you’ve read all of this, thank you. I appreciate your time.